24 awards and who we think should win them
Tonight marks the 85th Academy Awards, recognizing the very best of film in 2012. Here is how I think the awards will play out.
If I were to have it my way, I would make "Django Unchained" the best picture of the year. However, the group that chooses the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, usually has a strong bias towards very serious, emotional films with grave tones. In the past decade, movies such as "Crash," "No Country for Old Men," "The Hurt Locker," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, which I think are all great films, but could use more variation in sense of style. Even though I don't personally think "Lincoln" is the best picture of 2012, it's the film that it seems like the Academy would select. It's historical. It has drama. It's dark. It takes itself seriously. It seems perfect for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Do I think the Oscars are flawed? Not necessarily. After all, it's impossible to tell a movie's objective greatness through the subjective viewpoint of everyone's different tastes in movies – but that gets into a different issue. I won't be that mad if "Lincoln" wins, because I do think it is a great film. I just wish more people should show some love to "Django." Remember, it's not about what movie you think is the best. It is what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thinks is the best. If it isn't Lincoln, then it is most definitely Argo.
Best Director: Ang Lee
My choice for Best Director was not an easy one. To begin, movie directors do much more than simply guiding the actors in their lines and the technical crew in the cinematography; they oversee the artistic aspects that give their film a tone and creative aspects that give their film flair. They singlehandedly have the most important job in the movie, since they are the ones that are envisioning what the end product will actually look like. As much as I love Steven Spielberg, I have to commend Ang Lee for his tremendous work in "Life of Pi." Whereas Spielberg has to work with a historical profile of Abraham Lincoln and illustrate the emotional strife that character goes through, Lee had to emotionally connect a boy and a tiger on a shipwreck in their search for a deeper meaning in life. Because most of "Lincoln" relied on Daniel Day-Lewis's performance, I don't think Spielberg had very much on his plate to work with relative to the Lee and his grandiose vision. Both directors had excellent visions for their film and both directors executed them perfectly. Lee just had a slightly more compelling one.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence
To my chagrin, I didn't think much of Jennifer Lawrence after seeing "The Hunger Games." It was a nice movie, but I didn't really feel anything from her until I saw "The Silver Linings Playbook," which truly wowed me. She puts on an excellent performance as the endearing yet outspoken Tiffany Maxwell that has a surprising amount of depth. She convinced me that she can win Best Actress.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway
To be blunt, it's most definitely Anne Hathaway. From the moment I saw the trailer of "Les Miserables" and Hathway pouring her heart out into her role as Fantine, I knew she was going to sweep a million awards for her performance. People love drama and emotion and Hathway brought it full force in "Les Miserables." Many tears were shed when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream;" I know I did. Manly tears.
Read More: Method, not madness
Best Animated Feature Film: Wreck-It Ralph
I really don't know what people see in "Brave." It's a very good film, but it plays it incredibly safe. It's the typical outspoken princess that seeks to break away from her duties and look for a world of adventure. Ironically, even though it tries and breaks stereotypes, it also follows stereotypes. The last half was where it got truly exciting; however, it wasn't consistent all the way through. "Wreck-It Ralph," on the other hand, is bursting from all sorts of creative directions as itembraces the untapped, rich cultures of video games. "Wreck-It Ralph" also follows the pattern of a person wanting to break away from his duty to look for something more meaningful, but it's put in the colorful, invented universe of an arcade machine that feels a million times more refreshing than a castle and some rural hills. I wish "Wreck-It Ralph" wins Best Animated Feature Film and here's to hoping it does.
Best Production Design: Les Miserables
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
Best Documentary (Short): Open Heart
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Foreign Film: Armour
Best Makeup: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Best Original Score: Life of Pi
Best Original Song: Skyfall
Best Sound Editing: Life of Pi
Best Short Film (Animated): Paperman
Best Short Film (Live Action): Undecided
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Richard Chen. I love reviewing movies, and I think it's pretty awesome to be in a position where you can write what you're passionate about and inspire other people with it. More »